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East Van GoGos 7th Annual Jazz Brunch March 22

10 Mar

EastVanGoGoLogoThe East Van GoGos invite you to their 7th Annual Jazz Brunch Sunday, March 22nd. What is a GoGo? Gogo is a Zulu word meaning “grandmother”. The Greater Van Gogos which includes chapters in various parts of the Lower Mainland are grandmothers and ‘grandothers’ working in groups to support African grandmothers raising a generation of children orphaned by AIDS. This network of grandmother groups in south western BC are dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign and the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

In March 2006, Stephen Lewis, a Canadian humanitarian and former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, issued a call to Canadian grandmothers to bond with their African counterparts. In his travels, Lewis noticed the phenomenal grandmothers who had buried their adult children and stepped in to raise the orphans left behind. They needed money for school fees and uniforms, food and other necessities. In the Vancouver area, three women answered the call. They invited a few others and launched Greater Van Gogos in the summer of 2006 with four groups. Although grandmothers in Africa’s many countries are addressed in different ways – ja ja in Uganda, sho sho in Kenya or nyana in Zambia – the word gogo felt right. Many years later, there are 20 groups registered with approximately 600 members from Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Together they have raised more than $1 million for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The funds are distributed to community level projects supporting grandmothers and the children in their care in 15 sub-Saharan African countries.

The brunch on Sunday, March 22nd is a fundraiser for the East Van GoGos which will feature a musical performance by What It Is! The group consists of Mimi Beyene, Cass King, Patti Powell and Carol Wiedemann. We hear that these four unique voices are quite the powerhouse and have a captivating sound with a cappella soul. Their distinct arrangements are steeped in the soulful sounds of such greats as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles,  Etta James, and Laura Mvula. They will be bringing East Van Soul to a whole new level.

Brunch will be provided along with coffee, tea and juice. Suggested donation is $25. To order your ticket contact Sharon at T: 604-254-4071 or The brunch takes place from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm in the Grandview Room at the Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Drive. The music gets under way at 12:15 pm. Come out and support these great GoGos!

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